The United States is looking at a number of theories over what brought down the plane presumed to be carrying mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, including a surface-to-air missile hitting it, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.
Russian air authorities have said Prigozhin, his right-hand man Dmitry Utkin and eight other people were on the private plane that crashed with no survivors north of Moscow on Wednesday.
Two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that it was likely a surface-to-air missile originating from inside Russia likely shot down the plane
The officials stressed that the information was still preliminary and under review, and did not rule out a change to the assessment.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported a different theory: that a bomb aboard the aircraft or some other sabotage caused the crash.
It is not uncommon for there to be competing, even contradictory, intelligence views in the U.S. government in the hours and days after major international events.
A third U.S. official told Reuters that there were a number of theories and no definitive conclusion had been reached. [Continue reading…]